Fabric Softener Alternatives

Fabric Softener Alternatives
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Since my multiple sclerosis diagnosis, I’ve been doing my best to remove chemicals from my home.  Far from easy, I am constantly reminded of the harmful ingredients in household, beauty and even garden products.

Fabric sheets and softeners include many toxins that are linked to cancers, respiratory and nervous system problems.

According to Thank Your Body, “Today’s fabric softeners are made of noxious chemicals combined with a massive amount of fragrance that masks the toxic odors. These chemicals coat the surface of textiles with a thin layer of lubrication. This makes the clothes feel smoother and helps them resist the buildup of static electricity.”

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The statistics are scary and I’m not clear on why the Food and Drug Administration is not banning these hazards products.

Anne Steinemann, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and public affairs at the University of Washington, Seattle, and colleagues used gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to analyze VOCs given off by laundry products.

“The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates cleaning supplies, air fresheners, and laundry products, currently does not require manufacturers to disclose any ingredients on the label, including fragrances in these products. The same is true for fragrances in personal care items, which are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration. The Household Product Labeling Act, currently under review in the U.S. Senate, would require manufacturers to label consumer products with all ingredients, including fragrance mixtures. “Disclosing all ingredients could be a first step to understanding potential toxicity and health effects,” says Steinemann.”

Here are some alternatives to fabric softener that I’ve found.

Thrifty Fun suggested putting a washcloth dipped in vinegar in the dryer with clothes and reported clothes were soft and smelled great.

Making your own Homemade Fabric Softener is surprisingly quick and easy.  Try this or this.

Put a ball of tin foil in your dryer to prevent static cling.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dryer Sheets contain no toxins.

Another option is to go the old-fashioned route and hang out clothes to dry in the sunshine.

Do you use fabric softener or have any alternatives to share?

You also may enjoy reading: How to make your house smell like Pottery Barn and How does a stay-at-home mom answer, “What do you do for a living?” 


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